Two releases from Thompson Brothers today, a cognac-finished Tomatin and an older sherried Glen Moray.
Thompson Bros Tomatin 14yo
Distilled 7th of March 2008, this release was initially matured in a refill bourbon hogsheads before being finished for 27 months in a Cognac Barrique. 490 bottles were released.
Pear skin, mushy apples, light cocoa notes and barley sugars. There's a toasted bread aroma, wholemeal bread toasted very lightly, along with a herbal rosemary like note. The nose is quite sweet, but juxtaposed with those deeper, roasted nuts and cereal aromas to give it good balance, however we can't help feel it's a touch simple.
It's quite sour initially, underripe orchard fruits and grape must. It moves quickly into wholewheat cereal, high percentage cocoa chocolate, zingy lime and malt on the medium length finish. Those roasted nut aromas start to appear after a while, unsweetened almond milk, dried fruits from trail mix and coffee beans. The mouthfeel is ok, nothing to write home about.
Nose (with water)
We're transported to a farm, but not in a good way.. super funky, super vegetal and a bit off. There's still some apples and pears here but they're on the compost pile. There's a slight creaminess that's appeared too.
Palate (with water)
Some of that farmyard/barnyard funk has spilled into the palate, along with dry earth, toasted oak and appletiser. Some of that overwhelming sourness has subsided, but we're not sure the replacement flavours are much better.
A bit too sour and bitter for us, without enough sweetness to back the palate up. It's also a little simple, with the alcohol being quite punchy for 50%. Saying that, it's like an unsweetened granola, a little fruity with lots of cereals that some will enjoy. Water brings out a real funk, not one we particularly enjoy. We'd drink this if we were served it, but it's not our favourite dram.
Thompson Bros Glen Moray 1990
A 28yo Glen Moray that spent its life maturing in a Sherry barrel. No details as why this appears to have been bottled in 2018, but not released until the end of 2022, but we’re excited to try it.
The nose is ... lovely. It's a really nice balance of red fruits, creamy oak, fresh citrus and some sherbet right at the end. There's a unique note of dill (or more specifically, dill pickles) that we keep getting, but it's quite pleasant. There's a touch of salt in the form of salted peanuts, a touch of marzipan and wet paper. It's a really interesting and complex nose that manages to harmonise well.
A burst of red fruits, strawberry jelly, raspberry jam, following into almonds, cloves and nutmeg. The sherry cask hasn't overpowered the whisky, instead it's provided a good punch of fruits and spices that work well with the spirit. Air reveals cherries in syrup, red wine tannins and dry sherry nutiness. The mouthfeel is nice, there's a bit of texture here but we'd like more, and the finish has a good length with summer fruit cordial and cocoa beans.
Nose (with water)
The dram becomes a little earthier, charred oak, rosemary, dried leaves, but it has that old, well-matured spirit aroma that we love. There's still a good amount of red fruits and nutty sherry in here, but it's a deeper, richer nose overall.
Palate (with water)
In a similar vein to the reduced nose, the dram is earthier, woodier with a slightly bitter tinge on the finish. We're getting pears, more red wine tannins and strawberry and lemon mousse. We'd avoid adding water, it doesn't help the dram and the alcohol is well balanced at its natural strength.
We love when whiskies naturally reduce to 46%-ish, rather than being watered down, it's just a totally different experience that's full of aromas and flavours. This is a great example of this. There's lots of complexity here, we found ourselves going back to it over and over, trying to pick out more aromas and flavours. Our only criticism is the mouthfeel, it's a touch thinner than we'd like but we're still really enjoying this and are happy we picked up a bottle.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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